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“I have lost a best friend” Paul Nagle and Killarney pay tribute to Craig Breen

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid in Killarney to World Rally Championship star Craig Breen who died tragically in a testing accident in Croatia last Thursday.

Breen and Nagle celebrate one of their six podium finishes together. Photo: Hyundai Motorsport Media

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle at the finish line of 2022 Rally Spain the Killarney man's last event in the World Rally Championship. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish fans travelled in their droves to follow Craig Breen and Paul Nagle's exploits all over the world. Photo: Sean Moriarty

Breen at the Fafe Rally in Portugal earlier this year. Photo: Hyundai Motorsport Media

The Waterford man was a hugely popular figure in Kerry and that is reflected in the glowing tributes that have been paid to the 33-year-old.

Breen had several connections to the county and as a result, he was a frequent visitor to the area.

His father Ray has strong family connections to the Strand Road area of Tralee.

His best results as a WRC driver came with Killarney man Paul Nagle by his side.

The pair did over 50 rallies together all over the world, and highlights include winning the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in 2019 and finishing third overall in the world-famous Monte Carlo Rally last season.

Breen had nine World Rally Championship podiums to his name and the Aghadoe man was beside him for six of those.

They won rallies all over Europe including the 2019 Ypres Rally in Belgium which is considered the biggest rally in that country, and several Italian rally championship events, one of the highlights was their victory in the fabled Rallye Sanremo.

Breen’s last official engagement in Ireland was last Tuesday when he attended a promotional day for young junior drivers in County Galway, two days before the ill-fated test in Croatia.

“The world has lost a hero. Ireland has lost a champion and I have lost a best friend. Craig was more than a rally driver to [my wife] Cathy and I, he was family,” said Paul.
“The motorsport world is in mourning because Craig touched so many lives and homes. From grassroots rallying on Tuesday to World Rally Championship testing on Thursday just shows the character you were. He was a clubman at heart. Our journey was amazing, filled with fun, laughter, tears, and the craic. Thank you for the memories, they will last a lifetime. I am going to miss you.”

Breen and Nagle won the 2019 Rally of the Lakes.

Dermot Healy was the Clerk of the Course on that occasion.

“He was a huge supporter of our events, he loved the craic and the stages down here,” said Dermot. “A big factor was his navigator Paul Nagle and he helped Paul realise his dream of winning the Rally of the Lakes and the Killarney Historic Rally. He was always an absolute gentleman to deal with, I cannot speak highly enough about the guy.”

Nagle was not his only Kerry co-driver. His Aghadoe neighbour Mikie Galvin contested the Wexford Rally with Craig in 2021.

“I was absolutely devastated about the news,” said Galvin.
“I was always thankful for that [Wexford] opportunity. From there we became quite friendly and kept in contact quite a bit and I was always looking forward to doing something again with him, but sadly that won't happen now.”

Breen possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport and the characters involved in it.
It was something that Galvin witnessed first-hand in Wexford.

“One of the most striking things about Craig was, I couldn't believe that day in Wexford how he knew everything about everybody and their rally and what they were doing. He was genuinely interested in everybody. I just couldn't get over how he knew everything about everyone. He was really connected with everybody. He must have been talking to hundreds of people every single day because he knew about people “

Craig’s most recent visit to Kerry was in February for the Killarney Forestry Rally where he launched and funded a Junior Rally Championship support project for young Irish drivers.

He was also in Kerry for the Kingdom of Kerry Rally Championship prizegiving night over the Christmas period last year.

Breen was laid to rest in his native Slieverue, County Waterford on Tuesday.

He is survived by his father Ray, mother Jackie and sister Kellie, extended family, and a large circle of friends inside and outside the motorsport world.

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Ring of Beara Cycle launches school programme

The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud […]

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The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud to continue to with two great initiatives: its Kids’ Cycle and its sponsorship of the School Cycle Safety Programme.

The Ring of Beara Cycle will take place on May 25 with over 4,000 cyclists taking part. The event starts and finishes in Kenmare town, Co Kerry to complete either a 110km or 140km route encompassing the magnificent mountains, valleys and the rugged coastline of the Beara Peninsula.

Kids’ Cycle
Adults are not the only ones getting on their bikes on May 25 for the Ring of Beara Cycle. The event also has its very own cycle for children around the town of Kenmare. Not only does this give kids a chance to join in the days’ activities with their parents, but it’s free and a great way for kids to get outdoors and exercise in a fun and safe environment.
Open to any child in national school between third and fifth class and following a 2km route around Kenmare and a slightly shorter route for tinier ones, registration is from 9.15am in Kenmare town square. Parents and guardians are welcome to cycle with their children. All participants should bring and wear a safety helmet for the cycle.
School Cycle Safety Programme
Another community initiative from the Ring of Beara Cycle is the Cycle Right Programme, working with local schools to get kids’ up to speed on road safety and cycle best practices.
The Ring of Beara Cycle is working with Cycle Sense and Wheely Good Cycling Academy to deliver this 4-week programme to local schools in and around Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula.
Some 250 students across 8 schools are participating in this initiative, and the schools involved are: St John’s National School, Realt Na Mara National School , Lauragh National School and Tulloha National School in Kenmare, and on the Beara Peninsula: Scoil Chaitigheirn in Eyeries, Oir Cheann iNational School in Eyeries, Cahermore National School in Allihies, Scoil An Croi Ro Naofa in Castletownbere, Mhichil Naofa in Castletownbere, Adrigole N S in Bantry, and Trafrask Mixed N S in Ardrigole.
This initiative is normally paid for by the schools themselves but is now free for all the children taking part thanks to a generous donation by the Ring of Beara Cycle Committee that covers the cost of delivering the programme to these schools.
Cycle Right is the National Standard for Cycle Training and provides practical cycle safety and skills training through Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote cycle confidence on the road in increasingly complex scenarios delivered by qualified, registered trainers.
No stranger to giving back to the local community, not only does the Ring of Beara Cycle make a significant, positive impact on the local economy, it also encourages kids to enjoy themselves on their bikes and to do this safely with confidence.

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is a must-attend event

Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site […]

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’.

This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site in Castleisland.

The event was always renowned for getting great advice on the Agri topics of the day as well as a window into modern developments taking place in all aspect of Agriculture and country living.

The extending of the yard area will allow more space to be given over to even more exhibitors, ensuring all areas of agriculture, and rural life will be showcased on the 22.

There will be experts on hand to advise on Calf Rearing, Grassland management, Weed control, Drainage, Fencing , Shed and Yard Layouts as well as bee keeping, and helpful health advice.

“As well as the great advice, you will be ensured of great deals, great food, great craic and free entry to the many spot prizes that will be available on the day,” said general manager Denis O’Connor.

“All that is asked is your attendance and if at all possible, to make a small contribution to our chosen charity Pieta House.”

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